CBM’s Executive Director Dr. Terry Smith, brings a message straight to you as we kick off the New Year! He explores the importance of presence and faithfulness, and the power that the local church has to be present in places of brokenness and suffering - priceless. As we minister on Christ’s behalf, we get the privilege of helping to heal a broken world through word and deed. We ask you to join us on this journey to be witness to the impact of a global God and global church, on our local churches here in Canada! Leave a comment, share a feedback, and subscribe to CBM’s new YouTube channel, if you’d like to hear more from Terry this year. Keep reading for more!
As we talk about the importance of the local church in the darkest and most broken places in the world, we know how here in Canada, the local church plays just as big of a role when it comes to caring for the orphan, widow and stranger in our midst, like the modern-day refugee. The Government of Canada's plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees is intended to provide rapid protection for vulnerable Syrian refugees while continuing to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and CBM along with its denominational partners in Western, Atlantic and Central Canada are all deeply invested in privately sponsoring and caring for refugees who arrive in Canada.
Successful sponsoring churches are often only given few days’ notice before a refugee or refugee family actually arrive, welcoming people from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Central African Republic, and elsewhere. Canadian Baptist churches in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario are just a few that have recently made national news headlines with arriving families in the past few months. Finding a home, furnishings, clothing, a stocked refrigerator, toys – these are just some of the things that entire communities have been banding together to provide through donations. This is all part of a national Baptist movement to welcome 100 refugee families to Canada over the next year.
If you or your church are interested in becoming sponsors, here is where you can start.
The incredibly high number of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, including those that can be reached through partner churches, has led the Baptist Children’s and Youth Ministry (BCYM), a ministry of CBM’s partner the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) to hold camps every year for Syrian (& Iraqi) refugees. The number of these camps have grown, and because of the large number of children, a three-day day camp will welcome a brand new group of children each day. More children are reached, giving them a glimpse of the childhood they lost when they left Syria. Needless to say, all look forward to these camps. 10-year-old Farid (not his real name) recalls his loss of leaving his home country in the midst of war – “I lost my house where I spent time with my friends playing and biking. It is burned and destructed now. I lost my toys and my bicycle.” His words carry the sense of loss that is so central to the refugee experience, the loss of identity, community, dignity.
These camps are provided for spiritual and recreational encouragement, responding to real life issues that they wrestle with. Teams from abroad will come to help co-lead these camps, and local youth leaders help each year to build relationships with these children. For the children to know someone cares for them and that the leaders are all there to help them enjoy their time and to learn more about God, means the world.
Evangelical climate scientist and special guest speaker Katharine Hayhoe, recently named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for her work as an atmospheric scientist, is known for integrating faith with science and her work has been featured on Showtime’s Emmy award-winning documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously.” She will be the main event at a CBM sponsored event taking place Saturday, January 16 in Toronto, Ontario, hosted at and by Tyndale University College & Seminary, as well as A Rocha Canada. The event, “A Climate for Change: Paris and Beyond” will explore a Christian response to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Lorna Dueck of Context will host the evening and facilitate a lively panel discussion with panelists:
- John McKay, Liberal MP
- Terry Leblanc, CEO and Director of My People International and NAIITS
- David Wells, general superintendent of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
Don’t miss it! Tickets are $15, and can be purchased through Tyndale.